An Irish-Argentinian Freedom Fighter

List, and Irish members in particular:

I was buying some music when I stumbled on a CD by The Wolfe Tones (thank you Gary, the name rang in my head immediately!), an Irish group. Its name was "A sense of freedom", and among other songs it contains a nice one dedicated to Admiral William Brown, the Irish-Argentine sailor who fought the Independence War and later on supported the Federal Party against the Unitary Party.

Admiral Brown had a small farm in a swampy, useless tract of land by the river not far away from where I am living now. He was a good sailor, a good Irishman, and a good Latin American. His daughter Eliza died of love. A story I will tell you some day, perhaps. The words of the song run:

From a county Mayo town came a man of great renown
As a sailor and a soldier was none bolder
He went to America at an early age they say
As a cabin boy to sail the wide world over
Then adventure took him south to the De La Plata mouth
San Martin was on the route in Argentina
So three whaling ships he bought and Brazil and Spain he
And freedom then he sought for Argentina

Now Admiral William Brown you're a man of courage shown
And in battles fought the odds were all against you
But your Irish heart was strong and in memory still lives
And in Ireland there are some that don't forget you
On St. Patrick's day it's told you had many victories bold
You defeated all invaders thugs and bullys
Then through the Pampas rose and you found a hapy home
"Las Islas Malvinas, Argentinas"

He had heard of Irish hands in noble gallant bands
That helped to free the land called Argentina
He had heard with great acclaim the Patricios name and fame
When in 1806 the British came for slaughter
And to this very day in the Argentine they say
The English ran away from Buenos Aires
To the islands further down and they took them for the
"Las Islas Malvinas, Argentinas"

We remember William Brown and his land of great renown
He, invader of the islands from your country
When in 1833 were by pirates forced to flee
And in Ireland sure we know the story fully
And the people that went too to the Argentine when new
To escape the English laws and wars and famine
They had proved a loyal crew just like all the Irish do
"Las Islas Malvinas, Argentinas"

The old colonial days and cruel English ways
With her thunder plunder we will teach the natives
For the Brits are going to war just like Whitelocke did
With her ships and guns and drums and flags and banners
In the Empire days of old when they murdered for gold
And paraded it around the streets of London
Oh no human rights were given to the natives dead or living
"Las Islas Malvinas, Argentinas"

In the Argentine he died Father Fahey by his side
'57 was the year his country mourned him
A hero of the nation he's remembered with elation
Throughout the world where freedom still abounds
And the Southern Cross take note where bold Willie Bullfin
The Irish still support you Argentina
With the Empire tumbling down let no Paddies back the crown
"Las Islas Malvinas, Argentinas".
With the Empire tumbling down let no Paddies back the crown
"Las Islas Malvinas, Argentinas".

A final remark by an Argentine:

Our commanders did not know how to fight, though our boys were heroic. We lost some battles, but shall win our war. Thank you Paddies, we always knew we count on you.


Brown came from Mayo. Recently a statue or plaque was erected alas in the hope of Argentinian tourists. There were reps from the Argentinian Navy (No doubt unsavoury types) The world is becoming a theme park. Then Guevara was a descendent of a Lynch from Cork. I suppose it makes up for the racist cops of Irish descent in America. The Wolfe Tones have great lyrics, a pity about their voices. My partner has a relative, the proverbial sailor who seemingly had a family in Buenos Aires as well as elsewhere. Richards!


Jim Monaghan

Hi, Nestor and all on the list. A Happy new Year to all my cyber comrades. I just popped into my office to clear out the mail and got to this. I remember the war over the Malvinas very clearly and the confusion on the Left here about what line to take. Generally the Left was neutralist. Wrong again of course. A victory for Argentina would have saved us the agony of Thatcherism. As they wrote on the walls in the West of Belfast

Viva Argentina.